Jammu- Supporters of Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan Party (DSSP) on Monday took out a rally in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua, demanding the release of former minister Lal Singh who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case last week, officials said.
The rally was staged by the DSSP supporters in Lakhanpur and ended peacefully, they said.
Singh, the chairman of the DSSP, was arrested by the ED in Jammu on November 7, hours after a special court dismissed his anticipatory bail application.
The former minister was under the ED scanner in connection with alleged irregularities in land purchase to set up an educational trust run by his wife and former legislator Kanta Andotra.
“He was arrested in a false case to defame him ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections. The BJP will not benefit by his arrest as Dogras of Jammu are united in his support, knowing fully that he has done no wrong in his over three-decade-long political career,” one of the protesters said.
Singh, a two-time MP and three-time MLA, switched from Congress to BJP in 2014 and was also a minister in the previous PDP-BJP government which collapsed in June 2018 after the national party pulled out of the alliance.
Several months before the fall of the government, Singh had resigned from the BJP and had floated the DSSP following an uproar over his participation in a rally in support of the accused in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in January 2018. However, he defended his participation in the rally saying that he was there to “defuse the situation”.
The money laundering case stems from an October 2021 chargesheet filed by the CBI in this case which alleged criminal connivance in the issuance of land between January 4 and January 7 in 2011 without mentioning details in respect of violation of the ceiling limit of 100 standard kanals imposed under Section 14 of the Jammu and Kashmir Agrarian Reforms Act, 1976, thereby giving undue pecuniary advantage to the educational trust.
Based on this, the trust acquired multiple pieces of land of about 329 kanals vide three gift deeds executed on January 5 and January 7, 2011, the CBI chargesheet claimed
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